President of Poland expressing his hope that friendly relations between the
two countries would be re-established on the basis of frontier rectifications.
The Czecho-Slovak Government however^ endeavoured to postpone the
settlement to a future date. Two days after the Munich Pact had been
signed^ the Polish Government sent an ultimatum to Prague and Teshen
Silesia was ceded to Poland.
The majority of the Polish people had been decidedly opposed to the
policy of _ the Polish Government in 1938, regarding the solution of the
Teshen district, but this must not be taken to mean that they regarded it
as just, that_ the whole of this district should belong to Czecho-Slovakia.
The conviction in Poland was that this frontier problem should be finally
settled according to the wishes of the population concerned.
By the Spring of 1939, however, Czecho-Slovakia had collapsed and
Poland was defeated in the autumn of the same year* and it would seem
that a most propitious moment had arrived for these two countries to
reach an* understanding. In 1940, the Czecho-Slovak National Com-
mittee, with the help of the Polish Government, was able to change its
status to a Provisional Government and to gain the recognition of France
and Great Britain. In the first years of the war, while Russia had been
collaborating with Germany, Dr. Benes fully recognised and heralded
the idea of a Federation of Central Europe, particularly as this federation
was patronised by Britain. As the result of parleys with the Poles, a
plan for such a Union was sketched, and the Polish Government and the
Provisional Czecho-Slovak Government decided that, after the war,
both countries would form a c Confederation of States.' During this
period the Commissar of Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R., Aioiotov, had
been in the act of visiting Berlin.
The joint Polish-Czecho-Slovak Declaration of November u, 1940,
was as follows :—
cc The two Governments consider it imperative to declare solemnly that
Poland and Czecho-Slovakia, closing once and for all the period of past
recriminations and disputes, and taking into consideration the community
of their fundamental interests, are determined, on the conclusion of this
war, to enter as independent and sovereign states into a closer political and
economic association which would become the basis of a new order in
Central Europe and a guarantee of its stability. Moreover, both Govern-
ments express the hope that in this co-operation, based on respect for the
freedom of nations, the principles of democracy and the dignity of man,
they will also be joined by other countries in that part of the European
continent. The two Governments are already resolved to co-operate
closely now for the defence of their common interests and for the preparation
of the future association of the two countries."
The terms of the Polish-Czecho-Slovak Agreement were signed on
January 24, 1942. When the Soviets entered the war, however, the
Kremlin immediately began to exert pressure on Dr. Benes* Government
and in October, 1942, Dr. Benes renounced even the idea of such a
c Confederation of States/ Thus the Polish plan to form a Central Union
of all those countries between the Baltic and the Aegean Sea, received a
Strong blow. As a substitute for this, Russia began to develop her Mea